Well – it’s been some time in the offing, but we finally have the green light from the church-planting arm of the Fédération Baptiste (the MIB), to pursue a new initiative in…(drum roll!) Brive-La-Gaillarde! Hence, we will be moving this summer, and settling in the Corrèze department, God-willing, for the medium-long term. We are grateful to the M.I.B for their support and desire to see something new take root in this area for the Kingdom!
Brive-La-Gaillarde, with around 50,000 inhabitants is the largest town in the department, and an surrounding population of about 100,000 people. There is only one evangelical church (AOG) of around 100 members. As we walked through the town on our first visit, our heart was burdened by the thousands of people who will have little exposure to the gospel or come into meaningful contact with Christians.
The town culture is one of openness, but with a strong identity. Rugby, gastronomy (vibrant market), music, a thriving voluntary sector (cutural, social “associations”) colour its daily rhythms. Catholicism is strong and active there, as are many mediums and ‘faith-healers’! In the surrounding rural department, there are only 2 or 3 evangelical churches.
So we are much looking forward to the challenge – we will be joined in the summer of 2015 by an American missionary couple, the Harringtons, who have a boy and a girl, roughly the same age as ours. They share a similar vision and passion to see a church-planting movement take root in this strategic area. We are excited to be serving as a team after a first year of planning, networking, relationship-building and mainly loads of praying!
As we look forward to the future, much remains to be done, not least house-hunting, school arranging, and planning the move! At the same time, we appreciate the friendship and support of our friends here in Calvisson and are keen to finish well. The Alpha course is going well, with some challenging, in-depth discussions, (our Holy Spirit day is on the 6th April – appreciate your prayers for that!) but we are longing for God to reveal himself to these ladies through Christ by His Spirit!
“He (the Good Shepherd) guides us in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake” Ps 23:3